Berries You Can’t Buy


The peaceful walk down the driveway early this morning belies the reason I was walking through the woods. The dogs had caught an opossum in the wee hours of the morning. It wasn’t dead. It was lying on the asphalt looking very dead. A number of years ago, when the dogs caught one, I went outside to bury it. The dogs had lost interest in the carcass and were off by the pond. I went to get a shovel to bury it, and when I turned to go back to the opossum, it was wandering off into the woods.

This morning, I put the opossum in a box and took it deep into the woods and let it go. They are very resilient creatures, able to endure being dragged around by dogs. This is life in nature. Everything is eating everything else. No matter what you are, you are on somebody’s menu. While cutting tall grass this morning, the mosquitos reminded me I was on their breakfast menu.


Speaking of menus, the purple salmon berry blossoms of April have turned into berries. Another month or so, and they will be delicious tart snacks to enjoy on a sunny afternoon while toiling outside.

The thimble berries are in full bloom. Of all the berries here, they are my favorite. They are too delicate to appear in grocery stores. When they ripen, they are good for just a day or two. Many of the best foods never make it to store shelves. You need to grow them yourself, which is why cities need to be laced with community gardens, so that even people living in cities can enjoy delicate treats like thimble berries.


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